Graves, Arthur H. Formerly, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut.
Davis, Kenneth P. Formerly, School of Forestry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
- North American species
- European species
- Additional Readings
A genus, Acer, of broad-leaved, deciduous trees, including about 115 species in North America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Maple trees are characterized by simple, opposite, usually palmately lobed (rarely pinnate) leaves; generally inconspicuous flowers; and a fruit consisting of two long-winged samaras or keys. The winter buds have several overlapping scales (rarely only two). The most important commercial species is sugar or rock maple (Acer saccharum) [Fig. 1], which is called hard maple in the lumber market. The Janka hardness for sugar maple is 1450 lb-force (658 kg-force); its density is 39 lb/ft3 (625 kg/m3). This tree, attaining a height of 37 m (121 ft), grows in the eastern half of the United States and adjacent Canada. Sugar maple can be recognized by its gray furrowed bark, sharp-pointed scaly winter buds (Fig. 2a), and symmetrical oval outline of the crown. See also: Forest and forestry; Sapindales; Tree
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